Monday, September 25th, 2017

Baseball “acculturation”

October 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Mental Side

In my high school sociology classes, we recently discussed the concept
 of acculturation.  By definition, acculturation is when a culture
 identifies aspects (common behaviors, values, beliefs, etc.) of their
 culture that are holding them back in terms of success and replaces them 
with behaviors that will allow them to succeed.  Often, those new
 behaviors adopted are seen in succeeding cultures in that same society.
  The history of Irish-Catholics in America is a good example of how a subculture went from a downtrodden, highly discriminated against group of immigrants to one of the more successful groups in America.

Although this concept is largely used in broad, cultural terms, it is a great
 lesson for individuals as well.  When faced with adversity, the easiest thing to do
 is blame someone or something else.  We coaches hear this all the time.  A
 hitter says his coach stinks when he hits .210 and a pitcher blames umpires for all their walks.  The major flaw in this thinking is the fact that it never truly addresses the problem.   Rather than looking for ways to adjust and improve, the player blames some

Dude, your change-up is nasty. Show me how you hold it?

external factor.

Acculturation in baseball means players first have to look around
 for players who are currently succeeding at something they want to succeed at also.  For example, if I’m having trouble throwing strikes, I can talk to someone who throws a lot of strikes and pick their brain.  When this happens, you can usually start to identify specific reasons (mental and/or physical) why they are succeeding.  Now you can start making
 adjustments to replace your habits, mechanics, and/or thought processes with others that will
 allow success to occur.

Unfortunately, too many players just drift around hoping and wishing that things will
 get better.  Great players constantly seek new ways of doing things to
 see if tweaking something will have a better result. 
This acculturation cannot occur until the player takes full responsibility 
for their own development.  Admittedly, taking “full responsibility”
 doesn’t seem to be a trend among people in our current American culture.
  However, it’s the player’s career and therefore ultimately up to him to
 figure out what adjustments to make and then make them. 

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